LONDON, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) -- The number of passenger traveling through London’s largest two airports, Heathrow and Gatwick, reached their highest levels in July, the two airports said Monday.
According to data released by Heathrow Airport, passenger numbers in July reached 6.97 million -- an increase of 0.5 percent on July 2013 and signifying the busiest ever month in Heathrow.
Gatwick said passenger numbers totaled 4.1 million in July, up by 6 percent year-on-year, and also the highest-ever monthly figures. The previous highest record was about 4 million in August 2013.
Heathrow Airport said that within emerging markets, China increased 10.4 percent, followed by Mexico and India.
“China's performance is likely to strengthen further in forthcoming months. Air China is set to double its service to Beijing from October, following which there will be 51 departures from Heathrow per week to mainland China,” it said.
The two main airports are considering expansion projects to compete with each other and expand capacity in Britain. Heathrow plans to lengthen an existing runway as a third runway and Gatwick is planning to build a new runway.
“The doubling of Air China's routes to Beijing represents a vote of confidence for T2. It’s also recognition that despite other UK airports having spare capacity, only Heathrow can deliver daily, direct flights to emerging economies that will help Britain win in the global race for growth. Gatwick can't, Heathrow can.” said John Holland-Kaye, CEO of Heathrow.
“Building a third runway at Heathrow will diminish the choice available to British passengers, making it more expensive to go on holiday, to travel for business and to export goods and services. We support competition, reduced fares and two world-class London airports serving the UK as a whole,” said Nick Dunn, chief financial officer at London Gatwick.